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Sat December 1, 2012
Performing Arts

Hispanics Call For Kennedy Center Honors

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 9:41 am

Honorees (from left) James Levine, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Simon, Chita Rivera and James Earl Jones stand beside first lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush during the 25th Kennedy Center Honors in 2002. Rivera was the last Hispanic recipient of the award.
Shawn Thew AFP/Getty Images

This weekend, some big names are coming to Washington for a red-carpet event. Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, blues guitarist Buddy Guy and the British rock band Led Zeppelin will be receiving the annual Kennedy Center Honors.

It's a prestigious award given to only a handful of performers each year. But over the past few months there's been controversy surrounding the awards. In its 35-year history, only two honorees have been Hispanic, despite the fact that Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States.

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Fri November 30, 2012
Music Interviews

A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 12:26 pm

Joe Smith poses with Rod Stewart, circa 1974. The former record executive conducted informal interviews with dozens of musicians in the mid-1980s.
Jeff Smith

In the mid-1980s, a record executive and former DJ named Joe Smith saw that a lot of the big-band greats were disappearing: Count Basie, Harry James and others.

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Sat November 24, 2012
Music Interviews

Piney Gir: From 'The Muppets' To 'Geronimo'

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:44 pm

Piney Gir grew to love performing after getting solos in the choir at church.
Courtesy of the artist

What do you do if you're an aspiring drummer and someone steals your drum set? Well, if you're Piney Gir, you become a singer — because, as she figured it, they can't steal your voice.

Gir grew up in a fundamentalist Pentecostal household in Kansas, attending church four or five times a week. She got the solos in the choir and grew to love performing. The singer, whose real name is Angela Penhaligon, eventually found her way to London and the world of indie art-rock.

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Sat November 24, 2012
NPR Story

Songwriter Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace'

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:48 pm

Paloma Faith's newest album is called Fall to Grace.
Courtesy of the artist

Paloma Faith has been described as smart, vivacious, red-streaked and a singular talent. Before breaking into the music business, Faith worked as a magician's assistant and a dancer. She debuted as a solo artist in the UK in 2009 with the album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? Her latest album is no less provocatively titled — it's called Fall to Grace.

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Sat November 24, 2012

How Steep The Fiscal Cliff Looks From Europe

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 9:30 am



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Much of our political oxygen is taken up with fiscal cliff negotiation and speculation in the United States as people try to figure out whether we will indeed go hurtling over into recession or inch back from the edge of the cliff. Since all our economies are linked in a global network these days, we thought we'd get the view of all of this from elsewhere.

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